Optical Technician

Assemble prescription glasses and pick out contact lenses for patients.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$18,000 – $43,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Optical Technicians do?

In short, an Optical Technician makes glasses and contact lenses. You evaluate eye prescriptions, use a variety of materials and machines, and create a finished eyewear product for the patient. In addition to working with eyewear prescriptions, you make other kinds of lenses such as those for microscopes and telescopes. Working with an Optician, you also examine and repair eyewear as an Optical Technican

A typical day has you make a few repairs and work on new orders. With a prescription from an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist, you use specialized equipment to cut and grind the lenses. You keep in mind the curvature, strength, size, and shape that the prescription outlines. The smallest variation makes a huge difference in the finished product, so precision is pivotal. Once you’ve made the first cuts for the lens, you buff and polish the sides using large machines. Often, a chemical coating is applied before you place the lenses into the frames as an Optical Technician.

The work environment for an Optical Technician is loud and dusty due to the variety of machines required. Besides your tolerance for dust and noise, this job requires extreme precision and hand-eye coordination. Other useful skills are computer proficiency and speed. If you’ve ever been without your glasses for a few days, you can empathize with the patient’s need for their return. This is the perfect position for someone wanting to move into a career as an Optician.


Should I be an Optical Technician?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • Also known as: Optical Goods Drilling Machine Operator, Optical Goods Drill Operator, Optical Mechanic See More

    How to become an Optical Technician

    Most Optical Technicians have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9hgaaa&chl=no+college+%2881%25%29|certificate+%2810%25%29|associate%27s+%289%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,81,81
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